MEND extends hand to Nigerian gov't

ABUJA, Nigeria, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said it was ready to thwart oil sabotage in the region if the government listens to its position.

MEND announces new Nigerian campaign

ABUJA, Nigeria, April 16 (UPI) -- Muslims aren't safe from the latest campaign in Nigeria, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said.

Rebel group vows revenge for attacks on Christians

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, April 15 (UPI) -- A rebel group in southern Nigeria says it will avenge the killings of Christians in northern Nigeria by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram.

Nigerian sentenced to jail for bombings

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 27 (UPI) -- A South African court sentenced Nigerian national Henry Okah to 24 years in prison for masterminding bombings in the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Warri.

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S. Africa convicts man in Nigeria bombings

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The alleged leader of a Nigerian rebel group was convicted Monday in a South African court of involvement in bombings that killed 12 people, officials said.

Nigerian oil bandit guilty of terrorism

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A South African court ruled Monday that Nigerian oil bandit leader Henry Okah was guilty of terrorism for his role in a deadly 2010 bombing in Abuja.

MEND blamed for with Nigerian oil attack

ABUJA, Nigeria, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Attacks on Nigerian oil production will be used to drive energy companies from the Niger Delta, a militant group said.

Nigerian rebel warns of 'utter chaos'

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A jailed insurgent leader has warned that fighting in the Niger Delta, center of the largest oil industry in sub-Saharan Africa, will soon escalate.

MEND threats prompt warnings in Nigeria

LONDON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- London updated it travel advisory for Nigeria after the Movement for the Emancipation for the Niger Delta issued new threats of an attack.

MEND leader Okah's brother arrested

ABUJA, Nigeria, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The younger brother of Nigerian rebel leader Henry Okah was arrested in Lagos by Nigerian authorities investigating a deadly Oct. 1 bombing, officials said.

Nigerian ex-rebel leader denies bomb role

ABUJA, Nigeria, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The exiled leader of a Nigerian rebel group denies any complicity in two deadly bomb attacks in Abuja last week as he awaited charges Sunday.

Rebels claim Lagos tanker facility attack

LAGOS, Nigeria, July 13 (UPI) -- The leading rebel group in Nigeria has claimed responsibility for an attack on an oil tanker facility near the commercial hub of Lagos.

Photos of kidnapped oil workers released

LAGOS, Nigeria, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Two British oil company workers being held by Nigerian rebels in the country's Niger Delta region appear to be in good health, a British newspaper says.
Analysis: Nigeria trial raises questions

Analysis: Nigeria trial raises questions

One of Nigeria's most notorious militant leaders from the oil-rich Niger Delta is being tried in a closed-door proceeding on gun and treason charges.
CARMEN GENTILE, UPI Energy Correspondent
Page 1 of 2

Henry Okah is a Nigerian guerrilla leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). MEND has claimed responsibility for attacks on oil companies operating in the Niger Delta, often through the use of sabotage, guerilla warfare or kidnapping of foreign oil workers. The rebels' goal is to destabilize the foreign oil interest in the Niger Delta, who they claim have been exploiting the local populace. MEND announced its creation in early 2006 with several attacks on Nigeria's oil infrastructure that have cut daily production by about one quarter, as well as a sophisticated media campaign involving e-mailing press releases to coincide with the attacks. It created headlines in Nigeria when it announced it would participate in peace talks if they were mediated by former United States President Jimmy Carter or actor George Clooney. It also claimed the organization was considering a cease-fire after receiving an "appeal" by U.S. President Barack Obama, who denied making it in the first place.

Okah was arrested in Angola and deported to Nigeria in February 2008, and charged with 62 counts of treason, terrorism, illegal possession of firearms and arms trafficking, faced the death penalty. He claimed to be "championing the disenfranchised residents of the Delta region, who see little benefit from the oil being pumped out from under them." Okah's lawyer, Femi Falana, claimed that the Nigerian government offered to buy him off by granting ownership of several oil blocks, though he refused. The trial, which began in April 2008, was held in private, because President Umaru Yar'Adua says it would "jeopardize national security". Lawyers for Okah said a closed trial was an infringement of his rights and asked a superior court to overturn the decision.

In response, on May 26, 2008, MEND attacked a Royal Dutch Shell pipeline in the Delta region, and claimed to have killed 11 Nigerian troops. While the Nigerian government denied the deaths, the price of oil rose $1 on world markets within hours of the attack. An e-mail from MEND warned " attacks... are a retaliation to his unnecessary arrest."

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Henry Okah."
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